The Battle of Wits in Princess Bride: Vizzini isn’t trying to reason logically about where the poison is. He’s gauging the Man in Black’s reaction whenever he says it’s in one or the other. Whenever he says the poison is in front of the Man in Black, he tenses up, and whenever he says that it’s in front of himself, he relaxes. From there, he just had to figure out whether the Man in Black was bluffing or not, something that Vizzini is very good at.
I have seen the Dead Parrot Sketch more than a few times. At some point I noticed that when John Cleese is yelling at Polly to wake up, he opens the door of the cage! I mean, a birdcage isn’t exactly soundproof with the door closed, is it? But he hold it right up to his mouth and opens the door, all the better to rouse him from dreams of the fjords. There’s something about that action that fits perfectly with the over-exacting nature of the character.
I tend to think that the Pythons greatest gifts were in their writing, but that’s one case where the detail of the performance really sells it.
Hell, I got that beat! I’m old enough to have seen *Have Gun, Will Travel *on original broadcasts (barely.) I never knew what the heck the title meant until a couple of weeks ago when a skoshi bit of insomnia had me watching Encore Western at 4 a.m. It’s a cookbook! No, no. It’s a work sought classified ad! I swear I was so tickled that I finally figured that out.
I used to think that it meant, “If I have a gun, I’ll travel; otherwise not.” Now I see it’s more like, “Have window-washing squeegees, will travel to find work.”
I wrote this in a version of this thread two years ago:
Near the end of the Huston/Bogart version of The Maltese Falcon, Gutman is explaining to Spade why Thursby was shot. As he says that Thursby “was quite determinedly loyal to Miss O’Shaughnessy,” a look of realization crosses Bogart’s face, and he looks at Mary Astor, whose eyes drop guiltily. It was only a couple of years ago, on watching the film for perhaps the 10,000th time, that I caught on to the fact that Spade has only just realized that Brigid had won Thursby’s loyalty by sleeping with him.
Very significant in light of how Spade will deal with Brigid just a few minutes later.
I listened to, played, and sang “All Along the Watchtower” a bazillion times before I realized the two approaching riders were, in fact, the Joker and the Thief. I thought they were inside the compound with the watchtower where princes kept the view, and it was that place thatthey had to get out of!
Oh, I thought that, too! And I can certainly remember the original broadcasts. Hell, I thought Paladin’s first name was “Wire!” (You know - “Wire Paladin - San Francisco”)
A couple of decades later, I was looking something up in the dictionary and saw the word “Paladin” near the word I was looking for. I discovered a Paladin was a knight errant under the reign of Charlemagne, who went around righting wrongs.
Shazam! OK - NOW the horsey figure (the knight chess piece) made sense! “Palidan” wasn’t the guy’s real name - it was just his working name! “A knight without armor in a savage land” - duh! Oh, and his card meant I have a gun and I will travel. Just send me a telegram.
It only took me 20 years to discover this, though!
I’ve been hearing “Gimme Some Lovin’” for decades now, but it was only a few months ago, hearing it on the radio, when I realized that Steve Winwood was trying to sing like Ray Charles. Should have been obvious, never was.
One theory is that Dylan intentionally set the verses out of order, and the last verse is actually the first. Thus the story begins with the title phrase, and the two riders are seen before they are identified by name.
Along similar lines, it dawned on me many years after the fact that the main character in E.T: the Extra-Terrestrial is named ElioT.
Also in the Terminator movies, the man who is destined to save mankind from doom (whose father is a mystery to everyone) is John Conner, whose initials would be J.C. - kind of like another well-known savior with an ambiguous paternity…